Thailand: Intouch plans to infuse over $6m into seven startups this year

Image from Intouch facebook

Intouch Holdings, the parent company of Thailand’s largest mobile phone operator Advanced Info Service (AIS), has set aside a sum of 200 million baht ($6.33 million) to invest in seven startups this year, according to the company’s investor relations vice president Tomyantee Kongpoolsilp.

The company is already conducting due diligence on four startups that might receive up to 125 million baht.

“All four deals are set to close within this year. In addition to 200 million baht, we have around 1.8 billion baht in cash. Should we find more attractive deals, we are ready to invest,” she told local media.

Intouch is focused on investing in telecom-media-technology (TMT), artificial intelligence, internet of things and blockchain data analytics.

Intouch has injected the capital into startups via its corporate venture capital arm InVent, which has already invested around 540 million baht in 13 startups since it was set up in 2012.

The startups it has invested included digital lifestyle platform Ookbee, restaurant review platform Wongnai, US-based advertising technology firm Social Nation and enterprise location-based application developer Ecartstudios.

She cited that the value of its investment in its portfolio companies has surged over 100 per cent to 928 million baht.

She added Intouch was also scouting acquisition opportunities in the TMT space. Previously, it had invested in High Shopping, a 51:49 joint venture between its subsidiary Intouch Media and Hyundai Home Shopping.